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PHR Featured News: Health Communications and Community Mobilization during an Ebola Response: Partnerships with Community and Faith-Based Organizations

In a special online before print publication, Public Health Reports features commentary on how state and local health departments can planfor health communications and community mobilization during an Ebola response.


The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest Ebola outbreak in history, affecting multiple countries in West Africa. Although the risk of a widespread outbreak in the United States is very low, the unfamiliar nature of the disease contributes to uncertainty and mistrust. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) are working to educate and prepare communities throughout the United States for the possibility of an Ebola case in their locality. Federal, state, and local authorities; businesses; schools; charitable foundations; and community and faith-based organizations (CFBOs) all have important roles in Ebola preparedness and response. In 2008, CDC and ASTHO developed a 10-step approach for health communications with CFBOs during public health emergencies. In this commentary, CDC and ASTHO public health educators describe how a modification of this 10-step approach can be used by state and local health departments to plan for health communications and community mobilization during an Ebola response.

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The official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Surgeon General since 1878, PHR serves as an informative and accessible resource for practitioners, professors, scholars, and students of public health. Published in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal provides important research and presents key discussions on the major issues confronting the public health community. For full access to current content, visit the Public Health Reports website to subscribe.